A longer time period ago I was just a normal player like so many others like you. But now I'm a developer and mapper myself. I will update my modpage as often as possible. Should you speak german then make also sure to visit my website which is supporting a game named: Operation Flashpoint.
Most certainly a mod to remember.
Beginning with it's climatic introduction all the way up to the mapping & texture choices.
I believe this to be the master grown jewel in regards of detail love. While I can think of several masterfully created Gold Source Hl1 SP mods none of them were so detailed such as Echoes is.
Without wanting to spoil to much. Expect brilliant script sequences. (The Facility feels alive) A thrilling story plot that seems to portray the Events back at Black Mesa while being told to you during a post hl2 ep2 timeline. That at least was my impression.
What are you waiting for. Go and play it right now. You won't be disappointed.
A nice little fun mod with no empathize on realism or story.
It's kinda entertaining when you're terribly bored or just love each and every hl mod no matter how good or bad it is.
- Custom voices
- properly balanced (to easy in my opinion)
- 2 unique levels in which you run around as shrink and one in Super Mario style.
- simple level design
- short play time
- lame monster placement
If you're like me willing to test out every half-life mod then go for it. Otherwise feel free to skip this one. You won't miss anything special when skipping it.
Story: This is a conclusion to “hunt the c*nt” although you wouldn’t necessarily needed to play that as it’s only loosely attached to it. Like Freeman you were in suspended Cryo stasis and are under orders by G-man to obtain an unspecified Document for him. We do not know where the story takes place nor how much time has passed since “HTC”. And therefore that’s pretty much it what we get know of the story.
Mapping: The various levels are epic in their design thanks to lovely created architecture and night-watch – poke textures etc. There really isn’t much else to tell. In my opinion the mapping is flawless.
Gameplay: The levels take place in yet another mysterious facility that is not Black Mesa. It’s unclear what has happened in that facility but occasional screams aside the place is dead and well deserted except for the monsters. The game play is for the most part smooth although just like in the authors 1st release I wish there would’ve been some more scripted sequences to add more life to it. You basically just run and gun your way through empty corridors.
Audio: Now that’s one of the stronger aspects of this mod. Just like the author did in HTC he relies heavy emphasis on audio scripting to set a nice atmosphere in his creations. And he succeeds with in. How ever a better mix between audio elements and actual monster scripting would be well called for in my personal opinion.
– Lovely mapping and texture usage.
– Fantastic audio setup. Be it elevator music, screams in the distance just to name few of the things.
– Nicely re-balanced monsters and new skins.
– Numerous secrets where you can find additional weapons such as the cross-bow or certain pc equipment. 🙂
– Solid game length.
– Few button riddles.
– Old school mod through and through.
– While good looking and sounding. I sometimes felt the lack of personality this mod provides, thus sometimes it felt monotone.
– Some more npc scripts would’ve been welcomed.
– Rather short on story elements.
Conclusion: All in all it’s a solid and well made mode. Exploring the great looking maps alone makes it worth it. They must have build the Facility partially for giants. But it adds a nice certain realism aspect to it as you feel like you’re exploring a massive bunker complex.
Info: For a quick review look at the bottom of the text.
With Operation Rosenberg we get an unofficial expansion pack for Rosenberg and Calhoun of what could've happened to them after their escape of Black Mesa.
The mod arrives with many fascinating ideas and even plenty of voice acting (Though not in perfect English.)
Gameplay: The execution here differs. Sometimes it's very good but far to often also frustrating. Especially in situations where you get swarmed by pit drones, Alien controllers etc. Far to often had I to use god mode because I simply ran out of health or ammo. That aside the mod offers a great mix of riddles and pure combat. Finding key cards, searching for batteries and fuel cans to restore specific machinery etc. The mod has it all. In the 2nd half of the mod it's mostly pure combat though.
Balance: The mod is for the most part balanced how ever there are also many sections in which you often find yourself helplessly outmatched. Either due to a lack of ammo or a cheer amount of monsters teleporting in all around you.
Mapping: The mapping varies a lot. While some sections actually look very decent & good. I also often felt that the majority of maps appeared mediocre looking. Huge corridors that felt empty or lacklustre in design. But not every room has to be bright and shining.
That aside there were unfortunately also plenty locations and spaces in which you die forcefully. Either per explosive trap you can not see nor destroy, or by holes you can fall into like a shaft with a destroyed ladder. A trigger_hurt to ensure the player really dies in such areas would've sufficed. But also to let the players know "Ok, this is a no go zone". In other instances it's the opposite. I don't mind walking into a trap but then at least I would've wished for an auto save game prior to the mentioned trap. Far to often did I have to repeat from a much older savegame as I neglected to quick save. Unfortunately most maps are so badly polished that 85% of those arrive with terrible frame rates. I suspect the author just fast compiled resulting in exactly that: Badly polished maps. A full compile would've probably done the trick.
Fun factor: That varies a lot. While I enjoyed most of it in the earlier maps I felt the further the mod progressed the lesser fun it became. At some point I started to get bored and just turned on god mode due to frame rates, an increasing difficulty & to save up on some time.
Story: Possibly the strongest aspect, despite the funny English. You're Cpl. Collins of the Hecu under orders to track down Dr. Rosenberg & Calhoun which both escaped Black Mesa and made a run for another secret research Center called Area99. In there you learn quite a lot about a nice story twist that even involves the combine, time travel - mind control and so on. But I don't want to spoil to much of it. I did enjoy it. Unfortunately that plot seemed to be left unchecked towards the end & left you with with many unanswered questions. If there were additional story dialogs then I must have missed em.
+Filled with tons of great ideas.
+Fantastic story plot and not necessarily interfering with the main Hl1&2 story line. It adds nicely.
+Plenty of riddles in the earlier levels.
+2 Different mod endings possible. Eath path containing numerous maps. As far as I know only Hl1 Deliverance provided something similar.
+Great npc scripting in form of special cut monster bosses.
+Many secret areas.
+Some great looking maps, some.
+Impressive game length.
+PDA and plenty of radios
-Badly polished mod. Most maps lag terribly. Especially the earlier maps.
-Several locations you can get stuck at if low on health, water mazes, elevator shafts = god mode required
-Invasive sound editing. The mod author formed sentences out of many other hl1 voice file assets. You can imagine how that sounds.
-Sometimes properly balanced but to often I felt overwhelmed by the foes encountered. That or not enough ammo and med packs available in some areas.
-Many annoying traps and places where you can get stuck or die without warning. Yet often no auto saves were provided prior to these places. So make sure to quick save a lot.
-Rather monotone towards the end. You constantly fight against Black Ops standing behind every corner, sorta.
-Unanswered questions regarding the Area99 story plot.
-Sometimes good mapping but mostly mediocre in design.
-While the mod arrives with plenty of amazing scripts. It also often feels repetitive. Some more animations of Zombies eating bodies, people crawling into vents etc. wouldn't have hurt.
-Weird level transitions. But you get use to it.
In present condition the mod has for the most part decent game play. And the audio and story text PDA's really help to keep it interesting. How ever due to the bad frame rates I feel as this is more a Beta than a finalized mod version. If fixed + properly balanced I'd rate this 9 of 10.
Review to the Alpha release:
While arriving with a long and partially even boring Intro sequence (lack of npc talk to keep things interesting) the later combat maps are all the better.
It's a well balanced although at some points harder mod. Still with plenty well though out scripted events to see it's also a very good mod. While labeled as Alpha release this is actually closer to a Beta release and offers well over 1hour of game play.
I hope we will someday see a final release of this little Gem.
A very nice mod all together.. Below I will write what I liked and disliked about it in short format. The review contains some minor spoilers.
+Custom made music.
+Good npc scripts in use. Be it monsters & marines fighting one another or Ospreys flying over your head.
+Fantastic mapping both in architecture-design and light choices.
+Medium length mod.
+Properly balanced. Your hardest enemies are really just the turrets and once in a while some Alien Grunts.
+Several new model assets in use which add greatly to the experience.
-Few bugs remain especially in the final map with open doors that let you look into the sky and map itself. That and couple texture glitches. (purple/black textures)
-Mod lacks purpose. You're sent to Black Mesa, but why? What are your orders? You're none global mission order given.
-You're once more a lone wolf. Some squad mates would've been nice.
-In some places rather monotone and not enough to hear, kinda boring. Some more vox messages other than x1 "Now under military control" would've added greatly to the Black Mesa atmosphere.
-You didn't get to find or fight a single Black Mesa employee with the exception of the 1st map and in few scripted_sequences outside your actual walk area. Considering this plays rather shortly after the resonance cascade it's kinda unbelievable and sad for the immersion and possible npc enemy types. And where is G-Man?
-Disappointing ending as you get supposedly shot by your very own Black Op mates. Yet the outro indicates that HECU killed you and your whole squad.
-The whole end fight can get skipped if you just go head on to the Black Ops near the street. What's the purpose then?
-Terrible English translation. What's so hard in sending few lines of texts over to a native American/British person for conducting some proof reading?
-No riddles throughout the mod. Just combat and button pressing.
-Most moddb screens appear to be fake or show stuff that is actually not included in the current version of the mod. For instance the Bomb model, the crashed Osprey area and so on.
Despite the fact that I have written far more negative points than positive aspects about it. It is still a very nice and enjoyable mod experience. Safe to say that it is also far better than Hazard course was as it is more balanced and offers more variety in it's game flow.
During my play through I still had the HECU hud and Arms. Quite possible that some errors I mentioned here happened only on my end. If that's the case then it at least displays how wrong it is to force people to overwrite official files instead of creating a sub mod folder inside a packed .VPK file like other modders do.
Go and play it people.
+Uses custom models such as Big Momma - Male Black Ops etc.
+Some neat npc scripts in use but not enough.
+Makes use of the very well made original Hazard Course maps.
-Badly optimized = lag
-Almost no npc scripts in use exception are the 1st map and last map.
-Several map bugs remain such as missing models, getting stuck in places.
-Endless waves of aliens teleporting in all around you throughout the mod = boring & unfair, predictable.
-Poor English translation of the few texts in game. But no big deal.
-Not enough auto saves. Sometimes they happened in the middle of a fight. Terrible.
-Not once a nice Vox message. You know like "Attention this facility is now under military control." :(
below a more precise review to the mod.
Hm I was long thinking how to rate this mod knowing that the majority of maps were created by completely different folks.
People that actually did invest a lot of time and put sweat into their creations. (Speaking of the hazard course mod team on which this mod here is based upon.)
So not knowing exactly where certain extensions were made I will focus mostly on the game play aspect and lesser on the mapping.
Mapping: Most maps were created by another team. Some extensions were made to it but they are minor and mostly not that good looking. In general I did like what the HC-AD team did though by turning a functional facility into a disaster like environment. I think the lights and props were well chosen for the most part.
Gameplay: Lets get to the game play where the main aspect of this mod thrives on or not?
I must say for about 40% of the mod I was entertained till it stopped. The further you progress the less fair things get. You end up finding yourself constantly surrounded by Aliens coming at you from all directions without having any chance of taking cover or avoiding them.
Clearly this is an overkill of monsters teleporting in and frankly is more reminiscent with hl1 spawn behaviors. That plus stupid pre placed monsters waiting for you behind almost every door eventually ruined the fun for me. At that point I turned on god mode out of frustration.
Other than endless combat don't expect any sort of riddles besides finding some buttons to open doors once in a while.
Scripting wise this mod also didn't know to convince as less than a dozen purely npc atmospheric enhancement scripts were used. Still I must say the few scripts that are in use are all well executed. Be it the heroic end fight or the neat intro ride. If the mod would've had more scripts like that it would've benefited it greatly.
Unfortunately there are also several bugs remaining in this mod. Be it low fps in various maps which suggests bad optimization efforts or places where you can get in but can't get out due to invisible walls. In 1 map I spotted some models only displaying "error". In the map transition leading to the final map I even got stuck inside the door and was forced to use noclip.
Another weird aspect were some inconsistencies where certain Black Mesa personnel greeted you with "Hey Doc/Gordon" partially even opened doors for you. This could've been easily fixed by editing or altering the voice files or creating entirely new voice lines from scratch. But who knows might've even been left overs from the original hazard course scripting.
My conclusion regarding this mod:
It would have potential to be so much more if it would be optimized.
It would be even a lot better with clever monster placement and monster spawning instead of constantly overwhelming the player with Alien grunts & Alien Slaves en mass.
It would be even cooler to focus more on the struggles of the marines and to meet more of your buddies along the way. After all you play a soldier in this mod. Where are they? Having barely any scripts in use is a wasted opportunity and has a negative impact on the immersion of the mod.
A neat little mod with a lot of potential but failure on deliverance.
While the mod itself is entertaining to a certain degree it lacks what might be expected of hl1 mods these days and that's "class". In many ways this mod is straight forward a true 1999 mod experience. In the early days of hl1 modding people seen a lot of these mods. Walk your way through the maps with monsters waiting around each and every corner. The same principle applies here.
While that's not necessarily a bad thing: More is certainly possible with the hl1 engine. Be it monsters teleporting in and around you or friendly npcs presenting you with some goodies and story elements. Unfortunately none of this was used here. Even flickering lights appeared to be to much for the author of the mod.
Everything appeared almost normal. That is if it weren't for the grunts idling around every 2nd corner. It's funny seeing as the author did know how to conduct scripting in his mod.
That is as we get to see some c4 detonations and even few camera scenes which are certainly a nice thing to see in any mod. That plus a few riddles along the way. Basically pushing few boxes around or pressing buttons not bad.
Despite it's flaws it is indeed a bold classic mod like we've seen back in the early hl1 modding days. If you're fan of that go for it. If not avoid it as you will be disappointed by it.
Story wise the mod doesn't seem to make much sense. Apparently we're trying to escape the disaster caused by Gordon Freeman. Yet we begin in a totally isolated storage compartment. Hell we even got a jeep at our disposal and no enemies nearby all we would need to figure out would be how to get a gate open and then be on our way. But no instead we've got to fight our way through numerous blocky rooms and facilities before we're permitted our final escape.
mapping: With 3 exceptions that I found particular interesting and inspiring to me as a hl1 mapper myself the mapping is mostly bad in that aspect that you're running through boxy corridors just to enter even more blocky environments. So very linear and very blocky throughout the mod. Many rooms also appear massive or are simply empty looking.
Gameplay: As partially mentioned before. The mod contains some button riddles and box pushing stuff. Other than that it's just a basic plain combat experience with monsters and grunts hiding behind every door waiting for you to arrive. Surprises in any form are barely to none present in this one. A good mod for any longer on going coffee break and I estimate a playtime around 25 to 35 minutes.
An amazing mod with perfect mapping and npc/environment scripting.
Go and play it people.
This mod stands for high quality standards. Model & texture wise as well as balanced game play and showing new ships and races (Races of the Homeworld Universe) certainly worth playing.
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